Legendary chef Raymond Blanc welcomes the cameras into his kitchen to share his cooking secrets. Raymond focuses on bread and the miracle of yeast.
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For the last 35 years, renowned chef Raymond Blanc has inspired the world with his cooking.
It's about celebrating that gorgeous, glorious food and sharing
a special moment with your loved one.
Now, he's opening his kitchen and sharing his secrets.
I've made all the mistakes which could be made, so you don't have to make them yourself.
Showing, with a little effort...
Food is so, so beautiful.
..anyone can bring some joy to the dinner table.
Even the most complicated dish is not impossible to make.
On Kitchen Secrets, Raymond demystifies the art of making bread.
Not easy for Raymond Blanc, easy for everyone.
From a simple country loaf to an impressive fougasse.
Bread is about companionship, sharing.
-A cream-filled brioche, a great dessert for a special occasion.
-That will smell of home.
And last, but not least...
-A delicate apple croustade.
There's something so rewarding about making your own bread.
In his Oxfordshire kitchen, Raymond is preparing for a day of baking.
Can I have a bowl please, guys, a mixing bowl? Small mixing bowl. Ah, thank you, not that one.
Could we have a glass bowl?
Can you get me a glass bowl?
I love baking, such a wonderful occupation, really fills up
your whole home, with yeast,
with fermentation, acid, sour, sweet, wonderful baking, lovely flavours.
To begin, a classic dessert made with brioche,
a traditional French bread, filled with a rich lemon cream - gateau a la creme.
To me, brioche, it means a special day, a very special day.
Every day you would have bread
but on Sunday or a festive day, you would have brioche, and wow!
That's worth waiting for, but the way to make it is so, so easy, and I mean easy.
Start by combining 500g of flour...
60g of sugar and 7g of salt.
You just give it a little mix but if you're not connected with... Adam!
Adam! Well, there must be an extension here...
When you've got power, mix the ingredients together.
And now I crumble my yeast
so it can mix very well and slowly I release it into my bowl.
Yeast, a living fungus, is the magic ingredient which makes bread rise.
-Add 7 eggs...
-And mix using a bread hook until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. This should take 5 minutes.
This is a no-brainer. It's really so wonderfully easy and so satisfying,
hardly any effort, because the machine does it for you.
Now we're to add 300g of butter without any form of guilt.
It's so very good, OK?
All of that butter into my dough.
Then give the dough one last blast for 5 minutes on a medium speed.
OK, that's lovely. Less sticky,
quite shiny, taken all of the butter.
Now it is ready. It cannot go wrong.
The only thing which can go wrong, if you weigh your ingredients wrong.
Now prove the dough for an hour...
just set aside at room temperature so the yeast can get to work and make the mixture expand.
The dough will then need to go into the fridge.
This one has been in the fridge for one hour.
The dough is much firmer, much stronger, easier to handle.
You couldn't handle fresh dough, so that's why this is perfect.
Your brioche dough is now ready.
Tres bien. Voila.
Place on a board with greaseproof paper. Shape it into a circle.
So I make it completely by hand.
That is really home, that's the smell of home.
I think I had a good home, I suppose.
I'm very privileged, I realise that.
So I'm going to cover it, voila, nicely for half an hour.
Now make the cream filling.
For this, you'll need 250ml of creme fraiche.
Ah, no messing around here.
You don't look at your diet book here.
Rather nice. Oh!
Problem is, you taste it, you want more, you see, but lock that up.
-Add 6 egg yolks...
And 60g of sugar.
It's as simple as that.
And then I want to have the whole zest of the lemon
and the whole juice
of the lemon.
Now, prepare the centre for the cream.
I'm going to pour some
of my cream, voila.
-Then glaze the crust.
-Egg yolk with a bit of water or a bit of milk.
And sprinkle with nib sugar, which can be bought from cookery shops.
Place in the oven at 200C.
Turn it on to a metal tray.
Finally, top up the cream.
After 20 minutes, the gateau will be ready.
I must confess there is a mistake here.
You can all see it.
Here you can see some of the cream has escaped.
I somehow went through the base of it
and could have lost it all, actually.
No problem at all, OK, between friends.
You must do that dessert for a special treat. You must do it.
To sample the gateau, Raymond's sons - Sebastien and Olivier.
Voila. How are you?
You good? You good?
-Some gateau! Every time he meets us, I want gateau.
-Home sweet home!
-So, is my gateau la creme good enough, as good as Mummy?
As good as Maman Blanc?
Yes. I'm going to go for 9.
-That's pretty good.
-Is that OK?
-They put it together.
-10. OK, no, that's...
-Oh, shut up.
Great. I mean, it's nice to have you back.
Mmm, it's nice to be here.
There is something so rewarding about making your own bread.
Homemade bread will certainly be 10 times better than the bread you buy.
It was so important that only my father actually would cut the bread
and one day I dared to ask him and he said to me, "It's about respect.
"Bread, I have to earn it, so do you", OK?
So bread is extremely symbolic, extremely important to our culture
and it is also, of course, delicious.
Next, a versatile recipe which
can be used to make a simple French country loaf, pain de campagne,
or something more elaborate like crusty beer-topped rolls,
or an olive and tomato fougasse.
You can make a thousand different varieties of bread simply with these four ingredients...
flour, water, yeast and you've got salt.
The starting point for Raymond's three breads is to make a starter dough.
The starter is made of 100g of rye flour, 100g of wheat flour,
then I've got here about 5g of yeast, it's baker's yeast, OK?
Crumble your yeast in your water. Tres bien.
Fresh yeast is more active than dried yeast and will make the dough ferment more rapidly.
This process is crucial. It improves the lift and the taste of the bread.
It will give a real bread experience.
Set aside the starter dough for 12 hours so the yeast can do its work.
Merci. Parfait, beautiful.
What you've got here is really something extraordinary.
It's a very lovely acid yeasty flavour which is just right.
Now, combine with the other ingredients.
I'm going to put my water in my dough starter. It looks quite messy
at this stage, it's not very pretty.
Tres bien. Now you place your flour, OK, in your mixing bowl.
What's most important here is trying to put the yeast and the salt together.
They hate each other, because the salt in presence of the yeast will
kill the yeast, that is why here I'm going to put my salt on the side,
and I'm going to put my yeast nicely crumbled on the other side, OK, so no fight.
Add the water and starter dough
then mix on a low speed for 5 minutes.
My friends call me Dory, OK?
You know, you've seen Dory in 'Captain Nemo'?
The fish who forgets everything so it's quite wise to...
to place your timer.
Scrape the dough from the hook and put it on medium speed for another 5 minutes.
This kneading process stretches out the gluten, a protein found in wheat.
Kneading makes the dough elastic and helps it to rise.
Now leave the dough to prove.
That will double up in volume.
Voila. We've got one hour here.
As the yeast ferments, it produces gas which makes the dough expand.
Take that away.
Voila, perfect. Tres bien.
So it's very well proven here.
You've got double the volume, you can see blisters here.
To make your rustic country bread, sprinkle some flour on a board...
-..to stop the dough sticking, and divide the mixture.
-Turn it around.
-500g of dough is just right for a medium-sized loaf.
The more rough you are with it, the more you're deflating it,
all these lovely little bubbles which have taken so long to build.
Tres bien. So I've got my loaf here, that's perfect.
For a professionally shaped loaf, use a bread basket.
OK, which gives a lovely design on the top and then now I'm putting it in here, voila.
-The dough needs to prove for the last time, for an hour and a half.
See that bread, how well proven it is?
So what I am to do here is to reverse this one here. Voila.
For an authentic French touch...
-Slash with a razor blade.
It's sharp, you do a proper cut.
Slide the bread into a pre-heated oven, at 270C.
What we're trying to do is re-create exactly the same conditions of a professional French baking oven.
To do this, pour cold water onto a hot tray and bake for 25 minutes.
The cold water on the tray creates steam, which in turn sit on the top
of the breads, which gives a lovely crusting and colour as well.
The same dough base will also make a fougasse,
a savoury leaf-shaped bread originally from the south of France.
-It's lightly brushed with olive oil and flavoured with olives, tomatoes and herbs.
I want a rectangle shape, see?
And effectively with friends, you take a big fougasse and you break it in pieces like that, so it does
have good purpose that could aid the cooking
as well, give some more crust, and create a design element as well.
When the bread is shaped, brush with olive oil.
So this will help to stick all the stuff I'm going to put on it.
Tres bien. Chopped herbs, voila.
All this wonderful Provencale flavour.
I need some rough salt please, Monty, rough salt.
Some olives, chopped olives, black olives.
Few tomatoes, courgettes, whatever.
Come on, stay here.
Stay here, what?
After proving for 40 minutes, the fougasse is ready for baking.
So at that stage, you can add the salt at the very last moment,
so it'll crystallise, doesn't melt into the bread.
-Can we use your oven?
-Yes, of course.
-Thank you very much indeed. Merci beaucoup.
Put it in the oven for 20 minutes at 270C.
For an extra crispy crust, use the steam baking method.
Another recipe made with this dough is crusty rolls.
With a special rye and beer topping, they are the perfect start to a dinner party.
It's a beautiful technique which I'd like to share with you very much.
Divide 250g of dough into four, and shape the rolls.
The technique is barely touch your bread.
Then, make the beer topping.
So I'm going to melt my yeast, 10g of yeast, 140g of beer.
Combine the beer and yeast mixture with 110g of rye flour.
It does enhance the wheaty flavour, OK? The rye and the wheat.
Tres bien. So it's a nice little paste, so to speak, OK?
A little brush, Monty?
And then up.
Apply the beer mixture to the dough with a pastry brush...
then sprinkle with flour.
That creates a lovely crust on top.
Prove for 30 minutes.
Very, very rustic.
Then bake for 12 minutes at 270C.
Oh, what a noise.
That's a song in itself.
Yes. Mmm, very rustic.
There's no holes so when you butter, you'll put your butter or your jam
and it doesn't go through the hole, it's perfect.
That is packed with flavour. And that's the fougasse.
Now let's break it like...
-No, that's for you.
Mmm, that's nice.
-Difficult to talk with your mouth full, but it's lovely.
You've got to learn.
-And I've got a pro here, OK, so I hope you are truthful!
-Of course, I never lie.
Beautiful bread, very happy.
-I take some home.
-You imagine giving that bread to your guests, that you made yourself.
12 million loaves of bread are sold each day in the UK,
but today nearly one in 100 people suffer from gluten intolerance.
Good to see you.
Raymond is meeting John Lister, owner of Shipton Mill.
He's here to experiment with different flours to try and create a gluten-free bread.
I'm sure you must realise, John, that actually I was probably the first Frenchman ever to buy your flour.
So I think we were the only mill that could speak French at the time.
Yes, maybe that's one of the reasons as well.
The mill produces over 100 types of flour using traditional stone-grinding methods.
-There's been a mill on this site since 1066.
-Feel the rumble...
-..of the stone.
-Ah, the trembling, the rumbling, the grinding.
-It's an amazing...
It's technology that's 3,000 years old.
-Voila, whoa. What a display. Have you got chestnut flour?
-I smell forest.
-Buckwheat, yes, excellent.
-Ah, corn flour.
Corn flour, yes, of course.
That will do a good glue for my bread, so good.
OK. Here we have rice flour.
OK. So what I'd like to know, in those flours, what kind of gluten content you have.
-I have none.
That's what we're doing, so we are in a way having a very special moment, John, we are sharing
breadmaking, and hopefully if we're lucky we may even eat it after.
Raymond is experimenting with a combination of rice,
maize, buckwheat and chestnut flour, which should give the bread flavour.
John, I like very much the way you design your house here.
That table must have been surely done for you. I need a little box, no?
So satisfying, is it, so, so...
-I think your mixing arm is not bad at all!
After proving, the bread is ready for baking.
Got the porridge and the alchemy.
Ready to roll.
Without gluten to help the dough rise, the challenge with this bread is making the loaf light.
Tres bien. I wish bakers would make a little effort, OK,
just to provide that gluten-free bread, because more and more people have got allergies.
Don't ask me why they've got all their allergies, but they do.
85% of bread made in the UK is made on high-speed industrial plants
with little or no fermentation and,
you know, we see that when you make bread properly with fermentation
of 14, 15 hours, people aren't so intolerant to it.
After 30 minutes in the oven, Raymond's experiment is ready.
-I've no idea how those flours behave...
-OK, but actually they're quite thirsty...
Cor, it's quite tight. I think the mix of flours needs some more work.
I needed to start somewhere, you know?
-Yes, there's a little chestnut, yes.
-It's Oxford Street at Christmas.
-I think I will probably work more on the chestnut...
-Because it's got such an incredible flavour.
For anyone who is allergic to gluten, I think it's a wonderful bread.
I agree. I'll drink to that.
In the kitchen, Raymond returns to one of his great loves - pastry.
My mum was such a great pastry cook that basically
I would always be the guy who takes two portions or three.
Hey, you shy?
Of course. Right here.
-You baked them, you are responsible for them.
-Oh, come on.
OK? Come on, Billy, it's OK.
-For your mum.
-OK, let's have a look.
It's just right, look delicious the egg yolk, voila.
For his last recipe, one of Raymond's favourite desserts.
Apple croustade - delicate pastry on caramelised apple
topped with honey and ginger ice cream.
What I'm about to make now is possibly the greatest dessert that I ever had anywhere else in the world.
It's magic, it's very beautiful.
Even if you watch it, if you don't do it at home, it will be worth it
but I hope you do it at home because it's an amazing dessert, amazing dessert.
To start, make the pastry dough.
Separate two eggs.
The egg white, I'm going to beat them with about
5g of sugar, caster sugar.
I'm mustering the last bit of strength as an exhausted cook.
So a very gentle foam, see? You see?
-So... OK, voila.
-Next, prepare the egg yolks.
Add the hot water to break them down.
I'm going to mix my egg white to my egg yolk and hot water, OK?
OK, so then 500g of white flour.
Use a paddle attachment on your mixer to combine the ingredients thoroughly.
Then I break my yeast into it, 3g of yeast just to give a bit
of fermentation and deliciousness and acidity, OK?
You can do it without but it's very, very nice with.
Then add the egg mixture using a low speed.
That's 5 minutes now, OK,
until it leaves the side.
It's forming together in a beautiful bowl, smooth and velvety, beautiful.
Add two tablespoons of grape seed oil and mix for 5 more minutes.
But don't use olive oil, walnut oil or any heavily scented oil.
I want the flavour of my yeasty...
to make it really delicious.
OK, that's lovely. Just look at that, it's perfect, look at that.
Voila, look at that.
Then it falls off, I know my dough is ready.
OK, that also falls off as well.
Everything falls off. I'm falling off too!
OK, look at that, beautiful.
Oh! The brioche was sticky, the bread was doughy, that one is just in between, eh?
Cut off a third of the dough.
The rest can be frozen and saved for another occasion.
Tres bien, and that will do about four beautiful croustades. Voila.
After leaving it to rest for half an hour at room temperature, transfer to the fridge for 12 hours.
There's a slowcontrolled fermentation going on into this dough.
Adam, this, merci.
Next stage, maybe a bit more tricky,
but that stage, easy, and I will give you also Adam's telephone number.
-OK, just in case.
-When the dough's ready, find a friend to help make your croustade.
Paul has worked with us for now six years and this dish,
he's done it a thousand times, so probably he will shine me over. I don't mind.
It's all right.
-So now, we're going to undo it. OK, Paul?
-Yes, I'm ready.
OK, tres bien.
So gently, slowly, slowly, slowly is better.
Let's go slow, slow, slow, slow.
Well, I couldn't do that all by myself.
Carefully stretch the pastry until it's thin enough to see through.
Very slowly. Oh.
You can see, it's so easy, you know? A moment of inattention.
A few small holes don't matter.
Just lie the pastry flat and pat with melted butter.
You're very slow, you're a very slow coach, Paul.
Now we're going to put some caster sugar, so quite generous, OK?
Voila, I think that's fine.
Cut out a square, getting rid of any large holes where possible.
-Then cut into quarters.
Here we are. Actually, I'm going to give you that one because that one is too difficult.
There's a hole inside here.
Always cheating, typical Raymond Blanc. Tres bien.
Shape into pastry tins, making sure the side with caster sugar is on the outside.
Tricky. So I'm going to put it nicely inside here.
When baked, this delicate parcel
will be transformed into a light, crispy strudel-like pastry.
Tres bien. It is so important that it is done quite lightly,
it's got height, so I believe it's quite loose,
not piled up upon each other. Oh, Paul's getting a mess!
Oh, no, I drop them.
The pressure, the cameras, you know, all the cooking, you know.
Not bad, Paul.
Not bad at all. You see, pretty good.
-Now, set the croustades aside to dry at room temperature overnight.
In the meantime, make the caramel apple centre.
Finely slice some apples, arrange in a circle,
then brush with melted butter mixed with apple brandy, caster sugar and lemon juice.
Bake for 40 minutes at 200C.
Thank you, Paul. That is an apple rosace.
You can do it in your home. Bit of practice, but really when you've got that wonderful caramelised flavour...
By the way, those apples are Cox Pippin Orange. They are marvellous.
When you're ready to serve the dish,
-put the dried croustades and apple rosaces in the oven at 220C.
-5 minutes, OK?
Maybe 7, maybe 6 but...
No, it's a very exact science.
The croustades are ready when they are golden in colour.
So they don't look very much like that, but you wait, OK?
Now bring the dish together.
Drizzle with apple and vanilla puree.
Then you place your wonderful little croustade.
-Topped with ice cream.
-That's a honey and ginger ice cream.
I've forgotten something.
-And icing sugar.
Just a little thing which makes every bit of difference.
What I love the most,
what I love the most,
is that. Oh! CRACKING
It's fantastic. Oh!
You must make it at home, and the wonderful thing about that dessert,
you need a friend to make it.
It's fantastic, I've got my friend here, find one.
Find yours. It's wonderful.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Raymond focuses on bread and the miracle of yeast. His first recipe is a French classic, brioche, a buttery bread using eggs that is the easiest of bread recipes. Using this as a base, he makes a celebratory gateau a la creme brioche filled with a lemony creme fraiche. To follow, we get down to basics with a French country bread recipe essential to any baker's repertoire, that is formed into beer-topped rolls, a basket-shaped loaf and an olive-and-tomato-topped fougasse. To finish, there's a delicate yet spectacular dessert of apple croustade made from the thinnest pastry baked until crisp and golden.
Along the way, Raymond visits one of the UK's oldest flourmills, Shipton Mill in Gloucestershire, to experiment making bread with gluten-free flour.